So, I am fully embracing all the lockdown cliches. I’ve made a sourdough starter (yet to bake any bread with it), I’ve bought a 10kg bag of flour (it was literally a ‘go big or go home’ situation.) I’ve cut (my own and others) hair. And I’ve started a vegetable patch.

I think this is something I would have done at some point anyway, but it has definitely been kick started by the lockdown situation and the amazing work of Jen Gale at Sustainable(ish). Last week she organised a truly brilliant online ‘festival’ of sustainability, bringing together speakers on all kinds of diverse topics for live webinar-style talks and teachings. I’ve still got a few to catch up on, but I really enjoyed the No Dig Gardening session and the Growing Food in Small Spaces – I highly recommend following her on social media if you’re interested in green and eco issues without any preachy/guilt trip side helpings.

So when I say I’ve started, I mean very tiny new baby steps. There are no actual vegetables yet. But there is the beginning of a bed, fashioned by my own two hands from an old scaffold board and some random wood found in the garage. I have, in fact, reached that stage of adulthood where I have random pieces of wood in the garage. It feels good.

So, I chopped both pieces in half to create two long sides and two short sides, then I chopped another offcut into 4 equal posts to put into the corners – then I screwed through the planks into the corner posts. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Next stage is filling it up with lovely compost – first, I put a generous layer of scrap paper (you can also use old cardboard or newspaper) down to kill the weeds and grass, then I started piling the contents of my compost bin on there. I haven’t quite got enough to fill it up, so it will be topped up with store bought when I can get some.

Then at last it will be time for plants! Hopefully tomatoes, peppers, maybe some onions and carrots. I’ve got some salad leaves sown in a pot, and the top of the woodstore has been repurposed with two old filing cabinet drawers to make strawberry planters. It’s not super pretty right now, but I hope the end result will be.

Green fingers crossed!

I hope you’re all ok out there, finding ways to balance the odd combinations of time and busyness and new routines that we have now, and maybe even finding a little nugget of gold in the dirt.

H xxx

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